Arctic Mountains

G4 Expedition, Watkins Mountains, East Greenland

May 21 2004 - Cone (Qaqqaq Johnson)

Once more an early start. We shook our heads 07:00AM and after the usual morning rituals, we were on our way 08:45AM. We left in separate groups. I skied alone up to the Cone basin, where I found a comfortable spot (no wind) and waited for the others. We put on the crampons and hiked up a very steep hill (with Cone up to our right). The hill could may have been up to 45 degrees, but the snow conditions were good.

Torstein arrived the summit 11:50AM. I followed shortly after. And the order of the others was exactly as on Gunnbjørn Fjeld and Dome. Almost scary. The summit was incredibly windy, and although the temperature was only -18 deg. C., we turned around immediately. Torstein and Per Ove skied down from the summit, and had now skied down the 3 highest mountains on Greenland. Surely a record, since no one (to the best of our knowledge) had skied down Gunnbjørn Fjeld all the way.

Again, I was first back in camp, which I arrived 13:00PM. There was plenty of time left to move back to BC the same day. I did a health check. The headache and nausea was definitely history, so were the original blisters. But now I had developed some bad blisters on the leg, caused by the Scarpa boots. I looked at the band aids. They were blue and yellow. If I had the boots less tight on the leg, the original blisters on the feet would come back. I expected that the problems would sort out in the end. The shape was definitely good. I felt strong, despite sensing that I was low on food and water. I assumed I had started to burn fat, and found the concept interesting.

The others agreed to move back to BC. I was back in camp 15:40PM, an hour ahead of those pulling the sledges. I started working on a new toilet, as the old one was about to flood. Ståle and Per Ove were wise enough to move to a new campsite. Torstein and I stuck with the tent that was already there, even if the ground had sunk and was frozen solid.

Plans for the next day were discussed. The plan seemed to be to hit Peak 3603, which had to be the 5th highest summit. It was a long trip (the mountain was southwest of Cone), but we would go up the glacier towards Gunnbjørn Fjeld.

Hunger disappears by the hour, but I'm often dreaming about a hot dog, a Coca Cola and a hairwash. A typical evening is spent by getting organized, writing in the notebook, cracking jokes, looking for lost items, and creating fantasies on what to do when we're out of here. Today the group had another round of some drops of Whisky. A nice reward for bagging the 3 highest mountains on Greenland.

We're playing around with the oxymeter that Petter brought along. Being back in BC, my reading is where it should be - 94. When arriving ABC, it was in the low 70's. Torstein's pulse is unbelievable. It's now reading 34. I assign the name "zombie" to him. Fog is moving on the glacier and the light is incredible flat. Perhaps tomorrow will be camp day.

1. On the way to Cone (128KB) 2. Closing in on Cone (119KB) 3. Arriving the Cone basin (339KB) 4. View towards Dome (236KB) 5. Staale on foot up the mountain (80KB) 6. Torstein on foot up the mountain (93KB) 7. Torstein on the way up the final hill (133KB) 8. Torstein on Cone summit (277KB) 9. Me on Cone summit (185KB) 10. Summit view from Cone (469KB) 11. Per Ove on Cone summit (172KB) 12. Per Ove on the way to BC (210KB) 13. Petter back in BC (124KB) 14. Staale and his books (99KB)

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